Skip to main content

French Ministry of Marine to Captain Richard H. Jackson, American Naval Representative to the Ministry of Marine

c o p y


2éme Section.

July 25th, 1917    



- - - -

          We are supposing this army to be divided in five divisions equipped in the French mode, and we will take as a base the means employed for the transport of our Army of Orient.

          One division at the global effective of:

     20,000 men     8,000 animals  1,200 carraiges

has required, for its, transport:

          25 vessels representing a tonnage of 143,000 tons.

This fleet of transport represented:


2 auxiliary cruisers

3,000 men

50 carraiges

16 mixed cargos

16,000 “ 5,000 horses

1000 carraiges

5 stable transports

 1,000 “ 3,200 “

250 “


          Besides this, these vessels carried supplies of all sorts, ammunitions, victuals, etc., correspond to 8 days.

          The Divisions of the Army of Orient found, on their arrival at Salonique,1 supplies that had already been transported there.

          For the American Army, it would prove necessary to have the above mentioned fleet followed by 5 cargos of about 5,000 tons, for the transport of supplies.

          In all, the transport of a Division with supplies for one month would require 28 vessels, representing about 170,000 tons of jauge.2

          We court, per day, for one Division:

     200 tons representing 600 m3 for the 5 Divisions:

          The delay of rotation being of 45 days, it is necessary to have a number of vessels having 135,000 cubic meters of capacity, viz, a tonnage of about 75,000 tons.

     It is correct to expect 5% for immobilization or repair, and 7% of loss.

          The arrival of troops and supplies coming from American at Brest, Saint Nazaire and Pauillac, makes of these ports an objective particularly important for the enemy; it is not doubtful that the anchorage of mines, around them, will become more and more frequent.

          The French Marine has bought in America, two months ago, 15 patrol and tug-boats, and with those boats, expects to strengthen the service of dredging of the ports above mentioned.

          For 8 of these vessels, the transfert [i.e. transfer] of Flag and the ratification of sale has been obtained; but they are kept in America, for repairs;

          For the 7 others, the Transfert of Flag and the ratification of sale are not yet realized.

          If the Department of the American MARINE would kindly interfere, both in lessening the delay cause by the necessary formalities, and in hastening the repairs, it would be of the greatest interest, so that the 15 vessels could be sent to us as early as possible.

          Moreover, even with this reinforcement, our resources will not enable us to gather, in the three ports, the means of dredging that are needed there.

          Therefore, I should feel much obliged by your calling also the attention of the American Marine Department on the interest that would result if American dredger vessels were sent in the three Ports, to aid, with our vessels, to the clearing up of the access zones.

Source Note: TD, DLC-MSS, Henry T. Mayo papers, Box 12. Addessed on the top of the second page: “NOTE/for the Commandant JACKSON.” The document was addressed from: “MINSITERE/de la/MARINE REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE/Direction/ETAT MAJOR GENERAL/2éme Section/Iére Section/Bureau/DIRECTION GENERALE DE/LA GUERRE SOUS-MARINE/Service des Patrouilles/Maritimes.”

Footnote 1: Salonika, Greece.

Footnote 2: Jauge means "space" or "capacity."

Related Content